Was I ever going to be truly disappointed by this movie, I wonder? And was it ever going to fully meet my expectations?
From the opening scene, where a terrified Simon Merrells is stalked through the forest by an unseen, monstruous beast before being slashed open without mercy in the proper bestial style. He flees into a graveyard - where we flash upon the slab of a cold stone crypt. "THE WOLFMAN", it reads, in bold old-fashioned lettering. And with that, this hairy, slobbering son of a bitch leaps back onto our screens yet again.
The first thing that caught me off guard about this new Wolfman was the sheer, uncompromising pace of the story, particularly towards the beginning. All scenes are necessary. Almost all dialogue is expositional. We are not given a chance to truly know these characters, apart from what we need to know in narrative terms. It's almost as if the movie is impatient with itself, not wanting to risk boring the audience with any unnecessary substance.
We are thrown straight onto the rollercoaster - and that is truly what this movie is. Whereas American Werewolf had a feel of raw horror to it, and scenes that would indeed make you quite hesitant to go out onto the moors at night, The Wolfman appears to take its cue from some more recent horror movies and resembles more a fairytale fairground ride. Certainly you see the characters stalk through the mist and fog, and you wait and watch for the inevitable teeth and claws plunging into the frame in unison with a VERY LOUD NOISE from Danny Elfman's orchestra, but through it all there is very little sense of true dread about this movie. You will jump out of your chair at least once, but you will not lose sleep.
The story itself had me gripped for the most part. It is by no means a page-for-page retelling of the original, but neither it is anything new. It is an old story told well, which can always be worthwhile. There are references not only to the original Wolf Man, but also subtle nods to the likes of Curse of the Werewolf and of course An American Werewolf in London. In narrative terms, it does fall apart in the final act, with a necessary ending but one which makes absolutely no logical sense and did not fit with the chronology of the film. I wonder if I'll ever get the chance to read Andrew Kevin Walker's original, unedited screenplay. I'm almost sure there was a truly great film here at some stage, and I would be curious to see at what stage in it's haunted production it began to fall slightly off-balance.
Benicio Del Toro. What an inspired piece of casting. Those features, that heavy brow, the tortured eyes - he even looks like Lon Chaney Jr, though he is of course a much better actor. He carries his part well, as does Emily Blunt, looking pretty and playing an old-fashioned heroine. Meanwhile, some have praised Anthony Hopkins and "the weight" he brings - did I even hear someone accuse him of chewing the scenery? Were we watching the same performance? He looked bored, half-asleep even! Surprising, really, as his is a truly meaty role, something you would think he'd enjoy sinking his claws into, as it were ... but no. He clearly thinks all this is silly, so very silly. Hugo Weaving is quite good, though.
There are many things to like about The Wolfman. It is clearly in love with the original 1941 movie, and is not ashamed to admit it. This is refreshing. However, I simply can't help but reflect on the likes of American Werewolf and feel that we have taken a slight step backward somewhere in the last thirty years. All that aside though, this a movie that you will likely enjoy, as I did.
I loved this film. It was one of the best werewolf movies I've seen. The Transformation was cool!! Very Realistic for being CGI. The Movie's story was different than the original wolfman. I liked this one better than the original Wolfman. The acting was perfect. The fight scene between the 2 werewolves was sweet. I never seen 2 werewolves fight before. My only complaint is that the bear and deer in the movie were CGI and you can clearly tell they were.(But then again in the old wolfman the first werewolf that Lon Chaney jr wrestled with was clearly a german shepard dog)
In Closing go see this film or buy it when it comes out on DVD. You will not be dissappointed. An instant classic!!
The movie had its thrilling and gory parts. The plot line felt kind of slow though and the film makers maintained the original werewolf but with a better 20th century look. The actors casted in movie could have been better and the movie could have used more sci-fi action.
Well, the movie wasn' t bad at all... But it wasn' t perfect, either.
Why CG? It was a mistake in my opinion, everything could be done without it. Bear, deer, transformations, werewolfs running. A little crappy, if someone asks me.
Second: the story was a little flat and inconclusive.
Third: fight of werewolves was just dissapointing.
On the other hand, the movie has this special ambiency we know from Coppolas "Dracula" - gothic and dark. In fact, sometimes I had this strange feeling, that I was watching "Dracula"! Because I like it a lot, it' s a big plus for me, but others can find it a plagiarism.
So, in the end - we have a classic werewolf story with some good acting, no more, no less. In my opinion, there' s still bunch of better movies (especially "Wolf" with Nicholson, which is quite similar or "Ginger' s Snaps" trilogy, not to mention AWWIL), but is a must for genre fans. Because I' m one of them and this is first serious and (only a little) scary werewolf movie from Hollywood for a decade, I' ll give it four moons.
Entertaining, but it could use some serious changes. The storyline, while good, was too quickly paced and there was no sense of suspense. I jumped a couple of times, but there was no lingering sense of fear and it was pretty much gory massacre scenes throughout. That being said the acting, effects and cinematography were fantastic. In the end I really felt unfulfilled by the final product, which might just be due to me having really high hopes for this film after the endless stream of shitty werewolf movies being put out recently.
While its certainly no Dog Soldiers I have to say it is still worth a watch.
Well, I expected a lot from this movie and got a partial satisfaction. I thought "A werewolf movie with no teens. It must be a great one".
I liked the dark elements and spooky atmosphere of the movie. The story runs pretty much good, but I didn't like the way it was unfolding in the end. Seems like they lost themselves and wrapped it up quickly. Rather predictable ending. But what I particularly disliked was the looks of the wolf. Pretty much the same as in the original 1941 Wolfman. I did like the way the wolf moves here, though.
But I must admit the movie has its great elements. Well balanced between blood-and-gore and classic horror. Worth looking despite small flaws.
Anthony Hopkins did a great job. He always does in almost every film he is in, but he brought his grade A acting to this set. The scene of him locking himself in the crypt was top notch.
I went into this movie with alot of expectations and was hopeful that I'd be enthralled by it. I was for the most part. The only negative things I can say about the movie are:
Too many times I thought of Bram Stroker's Dracula and Sleepy Hollow
I wish someone other than Benicio Del Toro was casted
Other than that, I loved the film. The chase scenes were intense, the creature was very believable, and the overall dark tone of the film was mystifying. The scene in the classroom when Lawerence transforms and terrorizes was very cool. The gypsy camp scenes were really well thought out and the acting was great. The opening of the film was killer!
This is a good film. It is not classic but very good. I was glad to go to a theater to watch it.
This movie was a true honor to the remake. Not to mention a HUGE step in the future of werewolf movies. I saw this opening day and I was given a werewolf movie anyone could enjoy. Set in 1800s, stays true to the original, Benicio Del Toros spectacular acting, and keeps all the mythology of the werewolf intact without altering one fact. I expected this film not to be as good as American Werewolf but honestly it surpassed it.
I give it a 5 for truly retelling the legend of The Wolfman.
I've got this on bluray and I love it, the werewolf to werewolf fight near the end is
superb, its a very good film and recommended
I really enjoyed this film and it was because of the superb makeup that was used in the scenes of change for the werewolf. This is an old way of portrayal but, this is what made the original a hit. I for one, didn't see that much cgi in the movie but, perhaps I'll have to watch it again. The metamorphosis was great and much better than Van Helsing which I didn't really care for. Lon Chaney complained bitterly about the make up he had to wear in the original especially the Yak hair. The revamping of the make up was very well done. I especially enjoyed the scene of the transformation in the chair strapped down in the asylum. Loved it!
As with MOST of the movies I have reviewed here I'm proud to say that I own the DVD of this. I was so excited when I heard that The Wolf Man was coming back to the big screen, a day before my birthday? And the werewolf was none other than my dreamboat Benicio del Toro? I couldn't wait to see it, and THEN they pushed the date back, and then they did it again, and finally I got to see it, and... I loved the gore, I loved Benicio del Toro's performance (I loved his transformation scene, can you say "involuntary climax"? Ok...no. im just kidding LOL) I loved the originality and Yet....I felt so...cheated. I loved the movie. It was great but I didn't feel like I was watching a remake. I felt like I was watching a totally different movie. Not a terrible movie but I was expecting something a little more like the original. The plot was there but the story was just so....out there that it boggled my mind. Don't get me wrong Im always up for extra gore (if it's done properly) and I loved the werewolf on werewolf fight scene and that semi-sensual cliff scene (don't act like you didn't think Lawrence looked like he was going to rape Gwen instead of bite her) but despite everything I truly was expecting more from Universal. This movie packs a punch yes it does unfortunately it's a right hook with a left hand which to my knowledge can only be achieved by George McFly. Sadly, as much I loved the gourmet it left a bad aftertaste in my mouth.
As I said, the new Wolfman clearly has a lot of respect and love for the original 1941 flick. If anything, too much respect.
They spent $85 million on this movie, and yet they have chosen to retain the same design from seventy years ago. Del Toro, in his wolfman form, still wears his clothes and his own wolfish features are still very much recognisable. I won't lie - I felt a wave of pure joy seeing him in his first fully-formed scene as the Wolf Man. Yes, this is the character we know and love! However, part of me has to feel that given the resources and talent at their disposal, could they not have come up with something a little more ... original?
In terms of its folklore, too, it very much stays true to Curt Siodmak's vision. It even opens with the poem he wrote ("Even a man who is pure of heart and says his prayers by night ...") and obviously includes the time-honored motifs of the full moon, silver bullets and even the idea that the werewolf may only be killed by somebody who loves them. Though, without giving too much away, they could have explored this idea further in the relationship between Larry and his father, adding much needed depth to the characters.
I was not enamored with the CG when I saw it in the trailer, however as is often the case it did look much better when seeing it in the film itself. All the same, it could have used a bit less of that at times and a bit more of the excellent makeup effects from the legend that is Rick Baker. Speaking of which, the transformation scenes - sadly - are nothing special. Some of them are better than others, but I doubt we will ever again come close to the piece of cinematic history which occured in that apartment in 1981 ...